Sign-in option has disappeared. Windows 10 is asking for a PIN. I don’t have a PIN. The option to sign in with a password is not available. Let’s explain how to fix this. Problem solved with the following instructions.
This Issue Started With 20H2
Following the October 2020 update (known as 20H2), when Windows 10 completes it’s update, it may ask you to provide a PIN to sign in rather that a password.
Option To Log-In With Password Gone
The option to “Sign in with Password instead” may not be there. It’s gone. The only option is you use you PIN. If you have forgotten your PIN, here is a method of regaining access to your laptop or PC.
You may have entered a PIN some time ago and forgotten what you have used. You may not remember even entering a PIN.
There is initially an option that says “I forgot my PIN”. This will take you through the procedure of regaining access by using your mobile phone or email on another device to receive an unlock code.
But what if this doesn’t work? Maybe you don’t have the same mobile number. Maybe you cannot access your email at this time on another device.
Bypass PIN Sign-In
Good news, there is a method to get back in. Bad news, this may take a while. 30 minutes (or more depending on the speed of your system).
After a few incorrect attempts at guessing the PIN, the system may go into a lockdown state which will take away the option of forgot PIN. You may have to enter A1B2C3 to get past this and restart and try again.
If all attempts to receive the unlock code fail: the following method explains what to do next.
Method To Regain Access For Forgotten W10 PIN
Sign in to Windows 10 without the PIN
- At The Sign-in Screen
On the Lock Screen, locate the power icon on the bottom right-hand corner.
- Shift & Restart To Enter Recovery Mode
Select the Power Icon and roll your cursor over “Restart”.
Hold the Shift key down on your keyboard. While holding down the shift key, click on Restart.
There will be a message onscreen saying “Please Wait”.
The computer should reboot into recovery mode. If it doesn’t, repeat the steps above a second and sometimes even requires a third attempt.
- In Recovery Mode
Once into the Recovery screen, you will be asked to “Choose An Option”.
Select Troubleshoot. Then Advanced Options.
From here we have the option to run System Restore. However if your computer has not restore points, you may have to choose “See More Recovery Options”.
Look for “Uninstall Updates”. From here choose “Uninstall the latest feature update”.
- Please Wait
This may take some time as it will roll your system back to the point before the feature update was installed.
- Sign-in With Password
Once the Update rollback completes, login using your password as before. If it still asks for a PIN, look for the icon below or the text that reads “Sign in Options”, and choose Password.
Enter your password and get back in to Windows.
- Prepare For The Update Again
Prep your computer by removing the PIN and adding a new one. That update has to go in and this will prevent you getting locked out again.
Go to Start / Settings / Accounts / Sign-in Options. From here look for the section titled “Windows Hello PIN”.
Now you have the option to Remove or Change the PIN. Go ahead and remove it. It will prompt you for your password to do so.
Once the PIN has been removed – add a new one. (Remembering it this time).
- Reboot & Install The Update Again
Restart your computer and sign in with the PIN.
Reinstall The Update That Caused The Issue
Now to finish, let’s get that Windows Update reinstalled. To speed this up, download Windows Update Assistant from Microsoft. To download go to this page and click Update Now.
Why Have Windows Changed From Password To PIN?
It makes complete and total sense from a security point of view to change to PIN sign-in.
Logging in with a PIN is unique to the device, not your account.
This means that you can sign-in and add trusted devices to your account and enjoy the benefits of syncing saved passwords and files across multiple devices on your account.
Let’s compare it to Apple. Can you imagine every time you picked up your iPad and to operate it, you had to type in your email password?
When you tie in a device onto your Microsoft Account, it becomes a trusted, owned device that links to your account on their cloud server.
Sense & Security
This allows you to remotely shut-down & disable your device remotely if you have to.
This also makes more sense because it allows others in your trusted household to operate the computer without sharing your email password.
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